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Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 16576
Experience:  Licensed CPA, CFE, CMA, CGMA who teaches accounting courses at Master's Level
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Recently finalized my divorce. My ex-wife had been living

This answer was rated:

Recently finalized my divorce.

My ex-wife had been living at another house since Oct 2012. When we finally made it to court in March judge had me pay her spousal support even though we weren’t legally separated. Spousal support was terminated when the divorce was final on November 15 2013.

Can I claim/deduct this amount paid to her March-November 2013 on my taxes ?

Megan C :

Thank you for your question, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to help you today

Megan C :

Tax Topic 452 states the following:

Megan C :

Amounts paid under divorce or separate maintenance decrees or written separation agreements entered into between you and your spouse or former spouse will be considered alimony for federal tax purposes if:



  • You and your spouse or former spouse do not file a joint return with each other

  • You pay in cash (including checks or money orders)

  • The payment is received by (or on behalf of) your spouse or former spouse

  • The divorce or separate maintenance decree or written separation agreement does not say that the payment is not alimony

  • If legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance, you and your former spouse are not members of the same household when you make the payment

  • You have no liability to make the payment (in cash or property) after the death of your spouse or former spouse, and

  • Your payment is not treated as child support or a property settlement

Customer:

Hi

Megan C :

Hello

Megan C :

Do you have a decree of separate maintenance set by the court?

Customer:

It was temp orders

Customer:

awarding her spousal support

Megan C :

It has to be a divorce decree or decree of separate maintenance in order to be deductible

Customer:

define decree of seprate maintenance

Megan C :

It would be a court paper titled Decree of Separate Maintenance, typically set up when you are legally separated according to state law..

Customer:

I think I have one of those

Megan C :

If you have one of those, then the payments are deductible.

Megan C :

You would deduct it on your 1040 and put your wife's social security number in the space to the side

Megan C :

She would have to claim it as income

Customer:

ok

Customer:

not sure

Megan C :

You will need to check with your attorney to see if you have an order or decree of separate maintenance.

Customer:

So even if we were not divorced and I was paying her spousal support I can deduct it?

Customer:

It had to be an order of seperate maintenance. They had a court order for my pay to be garnished

Megan C :

So long as you have a written order, it is deductible. There's no requirement that you actually be divorced.

Megan C :


I would think so, yes if you are getting your pay garnished.

Megan C :

You can read all about this on Tax Topic 452

Megan C :

http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc452.html

Customer:

ok

Megan C :

Is there anything else that I can assist you with today?

Megan C :

If you have no further questions, please rate positive so that I may receive credit for assisting you today

Megan C and 3 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you